Summary: When Matthew decided to follow Jesus, his old world was going to collide with his new one
2 Corinthians 5:17 says, Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.
Jesus said in Matthew 16:24, "If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me.
Last week when we saw Jesus’ encounter with Peter, James and John, we saw that they brought their boats to land and left everything to follow Jesus.
When you look at the passages that I mentioned and the example of Peter, James and John, it seems obvious that when we decide to follow Jesus that our lives will not and are not supposed to be the same.
Today we are going to look at he call of Matthew and some of the events that took place as a result of that calling by Jesus for Matthew to follow Him.
Matthew was a tax collector. I do not want to go into all of the details of what that meant other than a couple of observations.
The Jews fiercely hated tax collectors because they hated being under Romans rule. The Romans would use people from the country that they were taxing to collect the taxes. Many of the collectors were dishonest, collecting more than they were supposed to.
Because these collectors were working for the Roman government, they were hated and they were not allowed to enter the synagogue. Their money was considered tainted also. Tax collectors were lumped into the same category as the robbers and murders.
Matthew is not one that you would expect Jesus to call given the history, but it shows that Jesus will reach out to every one. Matthew may have been an honest collector because when he follows Jesus there is no mention of any restitution as in the case of Zacchaeus.
For Matthew, his life was going to be forever changed. His old world was about to come in contact with his new one.
When you give you life to Jesus, you are making a LIFETIME commitment to Him, and when you do your life will be different. Let look at what happens when the old meets the new.
I. THE OLD LIFE MEETS THE NEW 27-28 READ
We have a scene where Jesus is walking and he comes across the tax booth that Matthew is manning.
Jesus sees Matthew and calls him to follow Him. Matthew was most likely a disciple of Jesus as were Peter, James and John before they left everything to follow Him.
As was the case of Peter, James and John when Jesus came in to the life of Matthew, he left the old life for a new life with Jesus.
Does this mean that when you become a Christian that you have to quit your job? For some people, the answer is yes. Matthew was being called to full-time service with Jesus so he would need to leave his vocation.
We do need to leave anything thing that will get in the way of our relationship with Jesus.
When we follow Jesus, when you decide to be immersed and become a part of the body of Christ, you are called to become a permanent part of the body of Christ.
When we receive a new life in Christ, our whole life is to be different. Jesus goals become our goals. What we consider entertaining will change, where we go will change. Our old life is buried with Christ at baptism (Romans 6) and we embark on a new adventure with Jesus.
We have to be willing to cut our ties to the old life it that gets in the way of serving Jesus.
When your old life meets you new life, the new life in Christ is the one that should be the way you are going.
The calling of Matthew is interesting because Jesus reached out to someone who was considered one of the lower parts of society, a social leper, and an outcast. There is not a one of us in this place today who is beyond the reach of Jesus.
When we accept the call to follow Jesus, what about our friends? Should we just leave them? Do we ignore them? Let’s look Matthew’s unique solution for this problem.
II. THE OLD FRIENDS MEET THE NEW FRIEND 29-32 READ
I like the solution that Matthew has concerning his old friends. Matthew threw a party, and the reason for that party was to let his friends get to know Jesus.
Matthew was also celebrating his decision to follow Jesus.
Sometimes I have heard testimonies from people who make it sound like they were having a good time with drugs, booze and pre, post and extra marital affairs until Jesus came and spoiled the party for them.